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This section of the News and Media Services department site tracks stories in print and broadcast media that feature Auggie faculty, students, and staff. The area also is home to material developed for University-related programs, events, and more.

Najeeba Syeed Featured on ‘State of Belief’ Podcast

State of Belief logoNajeeba Syeed, El-Hibri chair and executive director of Interfaith at Augsburg, recently joined “State of Belief,” Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, to speak about her background and what the broader interfaith and American community can learn from the teachings of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“I think the most beautiful thing about [Ramadan] really is the emphasis on building our social fabric with one another, gathering and thinking about, “what is the power of self-regulation and self-control?” Self-control over food and also our capacity to not express anger,” she said.

“While it is a deeply spiritual practice for Muslim, it’s also one where we spend a lot of time in community … It is a time where we want to be open to other communities. This is often our interfaith season. It is meant for doors to be open.”

Listen to the whole conversation with Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: “Najeeba Syeed: A Peacemaker at Ramadan”

Augsburg to Offer Graduate Business Certificates Starting in Fall 2023

This fall, Augsburg University’s MBA program will begin offering graduate business certificates in data analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, and strategic management.

Certificate programs are ideal for busy professionals who want to deepen or develop their skills in a specific area without committing to a full degree program. Each program consists of four core courses from the MBA curriculum. The courses prepare students for professional success using Harvard Business Review journal articles, case studies, simulations, and experiential learning.

Core courses in each program include:

  • Business analytics: quantitative methods, data analytics, data programming, predictive analytics
  • Entrepreneurship: marketing management, strategic management, entrepreneurship, innovation and design
  • Strategic management: financial management, business ethics, marketing management, strategic management
  • Finance: accounting for managers, managerial finance, investment theory and portfolio management, international finance

Each course will meet one night per week for eight weeks at the Hagfors Center on Augsburg’s Minneapolis campus. A certificate can be completed in as little as eight months.

Participants will take courses alongside MBA students and will be eligible to join Augsburg’s innovation speaker series. As part of the MBA curriculum, courses taken in a certificate program can also be applied toward degree completion for the program.

An undergraduate business degree is not required to enroll, but there may be prerequisite work for statistics and Excel. Visit the Augsburg MBA website for more information or to apply.

Augsburg Students Build Advocacy Skills During Day at the Capitol

Augsburg students Abby Petersen and Carol Lee smile under the capitol dome during Day at the Capitol 2023 in St. Paul.A group of Auggies got a glimpse inside the legislative process during this year’s Day at the Capitol on March 1. Organized by the Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC) in support of the Minnesota State Grant program, this annual event develops student advocacy skills, provides professional networking opportunities, and brings student voices and concerns to the capitol.

The Minnesota State Grant provides need-based financial aid that goes directly to students. Fifty-two percent of Augsburg undergraduates receive funding through the program, with an average award of nearly $6,000. The focus of this year’s Day at the Capitol was to ask legislators and Governor Walz to make a substantial new investment in the program by lowering the share of college costs that the grant formula expects students to cover from 50% to 36%.

Along with representatives from the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Augsburg students took the Green Line to the capitol and kicked off the day with a training featuring Representative Mike Howard ’05. Then, they met in small groups with their hometown legislators to discuss expanding support for the state grant as well as other issues on students’ minds.

“It was so eye-opening for me,” said Carol Hei Yue Lee ‘24, a social work major, vice president of Augsburg Day Student Government, and Campus Kitchen intern. “At first I didn’t know how the process worked, since my representatives aren’t on the committee that oversees the state grant. But MPCC talked us through how legislators talk about issues with their colleagues and get them to sign on to a bill.”

Lee met with Woodbury Representative Ethan Cha and Senator Nicole Mitchell. “People think legislators look scary, but they are very nice. Representative Cha told us his backstory and experiences as a refugee, fighting for his family and his kids’ rights. I was able to talk about food insecurity, which is a very serious issue and it connects with the state grant.”

For Abby Petersen ’24, the experience complemented their work as a campus organizer through the Minnesota Youth Collective. “I’ve done organizing, but I’ve never had the opportunity to spend a day at the capitol or actually meet a legislator,” they said. “It was super interesting and it went by so fast.”

Both Petersen and Lee noted that the event built connections with other students and helped spur ideas about how to continue their activism on campus. “I was impressed with the number of Augsburg students who showed up,” said Petersen, who transferred to Augsburg last fall and is majoring in social work. “It was really fun to meet other students who are also interested in doing advocacy work. Our group met with Representative Mohamud Noor, who was so supportive, and people brought up food issues and transit accessibility and asked about expanding the state grant program to grad students—we had a long conversation about that.”

Lee ended the day with a sense of deeper community and expanded horizons. “Representative Cha told us, ‘You can be legislators too,’” she said. “Everything is possible.”

Toronto Star Cites Professor Michael Lansing in “After George Floyd”

Professor Michael Lansing was recently quoted by the Toronto Star in a major exploration of the dynamics around policing and public safety in Minneapolis following the murder of George Floyd. Lansing and University of St. Thomas historian Yohuru Williams are the co-founders of Overpoliced & Underprotected in MSP, a public history project that explores the history of policing in the Twin Cities in order to contribute to community conversations about the future of public safety.

Lansing’s comments contextualize the failed public safety ballot measure in Minneapolis in 2022.

Neighbourhoods that voted most strongly against the measure were in the city’s southwest — a white, upper-middle-class area — followed, to a lesser extent, by those in the predominantly Black North Minneapolis,” wrote reporter Wendy Gillis. “It was a “very odd combination” that was rare in American political history, said Michael Lansing, history professor at Augsburg University in Minneapolis.

“Not just polarized, because that suggests two poles. Minneapolis in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the uprising became a place that was deeply fragmented,” he said.


Read the full Toronto Star article: “After George Floyd” (February 24, 2023).

George Dierberger Appointed Augsburg University’s Howe Professor of Entrepreneurship

George Dierberger headshot. He is a white man wearing a blue and white striped button-down shirt and a dark blazer.George Dierberger, associate professor of business administration and director of Augsburg University’s MBA program, has been appointed to serve as the inaugural Thomas ’72 and Karen Howe endowed professor for entrepreneurship. 

“The intersection of Tom and Karen Howe’s personal experiences as entrepreneurs and George Dierberger’s professional commitment to educate students for entrepreneurial leadership make this new professorship a remarkable opportunity to celebrate the power of philanthropy to transform lives,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “As the inaugural Howe Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship, George is dedicated to integrating innovation across the university, ensuring that students in business, science, the arts, the humanities, and beyond, are equipped to be entrepreneurial leaders in their careers and communities.” 

Dierberger spent 25 years in a variety of leadership positions at 3M, where he led multi-million dollar sales initiatives, started five new businesses, and implemented product launches ranging from high-tech laser pointers to government-regulated products. His teaching areas of expertise include innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, organizational development, change management, international business and strategic management. He continues to consult for entrepreneurial organizations and oversees MBA field projects that include writing strategic plans for Fortune 500 companies, Mayo Clinic, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits. Dierberger was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2022, spending three months in residence at the Atlantic Technological University in Letterkenny, Ireland.

“Professor Dierberger’s impressive accomplishments and long-standing commitment to continuous innovation in our business program make him a natural fit for the Howe professorship,” said Paula O’Loughlin, provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs. “His expertise and innovative spirit will take Augsburg’s investment in entrepreneurship to the next level across our curriculum.” 

The Thomas ’72 and Karen Howe Endowed Professor for Entrepreneurship was established in 2022 to strengthen Augsburg’s business department and inspire innovation and leadership.

“Tom and Karen’s visionary gift and George’s entrepreneurial leadership will make a difference in the lives of countless students and those they serve for generations to come,” said Pribbenow.

TPT Almanac Features Professor Michael Lansing’s History of Policing Project

Professor Michael Lansing recently appeared on TPT Almanac, where he and Dr. Yohuru Williams discussed their project on the history of policing, “Overpoliced & Underprotected in MSP.”

This public history project combines archival research, oral histories, and the insights of scholars to engage and learn from local communities—with special attention to how people of color have experienced policing in the Twin Cities.

“The idea is that we as historians take our expertise and try to think about how we can do public-facing work that contributes to community conversations,” said Lansing. “That’s what “Overpoliced & Underprotected in MSP” is really all about. We’re interested in recovering, collecting, and sharing stories of unjust policing, as well as forms of community resistance to unjust policing, with the hope that it makes this contribution to the very important community conversations that are happening right now about public safety.”

“We’re fond of saying that history doesn’t repeat itself, it echoes,” said Williams, who is a professor of history and director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas. “What you’re seeing in something like the [George] Floyd murder, the inability to hold officers accountable, are the echoes of the past. If we go back and recover that history, we have a basis to talk about what real change would look like—not simply professionalization, but actual reform, and a move from policing to public safety.”

In addition to the project website and a documentary short produced last year with TPT, Lansing and Williams are working on an oral history project, planning public events, and continuing to gather community stories. The project will culminate in an archive held at a local institution.

Augsburg Named a Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars for 2022–23

The U.S. Department of State announced today that Augsburg University has been named a Fulbright Top-Producing Institution for U.S. Scholars. This designation recognizes the U.S. colleges and universities that had the highest number of applicants selected for the 2022–23 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Each year, this elite program selects approximately 900 faculty members or administrators from across the country to lecture, conduct research, or pursue short- or long-term professional projects abroad.

In the 2022–23 academic year, Augsburg faculty members George Dierberger, associate professor of business administration, and Joseph Erickson, professor of education, were named Fulbright Scholars. Dierberger’s Fulbright took him to Letterkenny, Ireland, while Erickson is spending the spring in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The Fulbright Program has been a cornerstone of international education and cultural exchange for the United States since 1946. The purpose of the program is to inspire, innovate, and contribute to finding solutions for communities and the world.

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 78 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who carry forward the Fulbright mission of enhancing mutual understanding.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

NSF Grant Supports Mathematics and Data for Social Justice Summer Seminar

Prof. John Zobitz lectures in front of a whiteboard. His laptop is in the foreground.How does math explain the real world?

This question has been at the heart of Professor John Zobitz’s career as a mathematician and data scientist. Now he’s working to help other faculty bring a social justice lens to mathematics and statistics education.

With a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Zobitz and colleagues from Concordia College–Moorhead, Winona State University, and Anoka-Ramsey Community College will convene an inaugural three-day conference for math instructors this summer.

The Mathematics and Data for Social Justice Summer Seminar aims to help faculty at two- and four-year colleges teach math in context, using examples such as credit risk modeling or differential impacts from climate change to illustrate core concepts.

From a teaching standpoint, this means seeking out appropriate data sets, exploring local issues, and developing greater capacity to manage classroom conversations about social justice. Seminar facilitators include Gizen Karaali and Lily Khadjavi, editors of “Mathematics for Social Justice: Resources for the College Classroom,” to which Zobitz was a contributing author.

After this summer’s gathering, the organizers aim to develop a community of practice that will provide ongoing collaboration and peer support as faculty work to make their teaching more culturally relevant and responsive. They will also share lessons and curricular resources with other institutions through the Mathematical Association of America’s regional conference.

“Our goal is to enact change in the classroom by starting at the instructor level,” said Zobitz. “But we also hope that this seminar will serve as a model for professional development aimed at advancing equity in STEM fields.”

Registration Open for The Forum on Workplace Inclusion’s 35th Annual Conference

Logo for 2023 Forum conference reads "Combining Forces (x) 2023" with multicolored hexagons and connecting linesThe last in-person Forum on Workplace Inclusion® conference ended just 24 hours before Minnesota declared a peacetime emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, after two years online, it’s back in-person.

The nation’s premier workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion conference returns to Minneapolis for its 35th anniversary, with a parallel virtual option for global audiences and those who can’t attend in person. “Combining Forces(x): Fueling Our Collective Capacity for Change” will take place March 27-29, 2023, at the Hilton Minneapolis. Registration is open now, including discounted group rates and team meeting packages.

“What happens in society affects the workplace, and what happens in the workplace affects society,” said Steven Humerickhouse, Executive Director of The Forum. “Emerging from the pandemic and racial trauma of the past several years, more leaders and organizations than ever have discovered the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to their employees, to society, and to their bottom lines.”

Drawing more than 1,000 participants in past years, The Forum’s annual conference is designed to meet people where they are in their DEI development, from beginners to advanced practitioners. Attendees include leaders and managers of diverse workforces; HR and talent acquisition, management, and development practitioners; DEI practitioners; organizational development/effectiveness leaders; and students, teachers, researchers, and scholars.

This year’s conference will open with a 35th anniversary celebration with musical performances at Orchestra Hall. The event will feature Eric Jolly, Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation President and CEO, in conversation with Duchesne Drew, MPR president; Michelle Miller Burns, Minnesota Orchestra CEO; and Paul Pribbenow, Augsburg University president.

More than 90 breakout sessions over three days will tackle topics like religious literacy and inclusion, mitigating organizational biases, why many DEI practitioners are fighting fatigue, and using data to amplify anti-racist practices at work. Other highlights include off-site immersive learning experiences around the Twin Cities, collaborative cross-industry “think tanks” facilitated by innovation expert Ramon Vullings, and popular DEI coaching sessions.

“All of us who lead organizations dedicated to equity and inclusion have benefited from The Forum’s outstanding programming—both at this annual conference and in its innovative ongoing efforts to offer the best thinking and strategies for living out our DEI commitments,” said Augsburg University’s Paul Pribbenow. This conference marks The Forum’s fourth year in residence at Augsburg.

About The Forum on Workplace Inclusion

For 35 years, The Forum on Workplace Inclusion has served as a convening hub for those seeking to grow professional leadership and effectiveness skills in the field of DEI by engaging people, advancing ideas, and igniting change. It is hosted at Augsburg University located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The annual conference is HRCI and SHRM Continuing Education Credit (CEU) eligible. For rates, registration, and full conference information, visit

About Augsburg

Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to approximately 3,200 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. To learn more, visit

Media Contact

Rachel Farris

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Congratulations to Auggies Named to the 2022 Fall Semester Dean’s List

Augsburg University SealMore than 870 Augsburg University undergraduate students were named to the 2022 Fall Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg University Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

View the 2022 Fall Semester Dean’s List.

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion using a news announcement template.